Acclaimed poet and author Maya Angelou dead at 86

Paula David – Fourth Estate Cooperative Reporter

Winston-Salem, NC, United States (4E) – Acclaimed poet and author Maya Angelou has passed away on Wednesday morning at the age of 86 in North Carolina, her literary agent Helen Bran confirmed.

According to multiple reports, Angelou’s health has been failing this past few weeks and was found lifeless this morning by a caretaker in her home in Winston-Salem.

Brann told ABC News, “She’d been very frail and had heart problems, but she was going strong, finishing a new book. I spoke to her yesterday. She was fine, as she always was. Her spirit was indomitable.”

Prior to her passing, the multi-faceted artist has foregone going to the 2014 MLB Beacon Award Luncheon on May 30, where she was supposed receive the Beacon Life Award. Her last tweet, which was on May 23, reads, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.”

Aside from having written exceptional poems, novels and plays, the Missouri-born Angelou, who spoke six languages, was also a civil rights activist, film producer and director, actress and professor, awarded with numerous honorary degrees by various educational institutions.

She was the first African American woman to have been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry “Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘fore I Diiie”, and the first of her seven autobiographies, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” chronicling her life until she was 17 years old, is considered to be the most recognized among the volumes.

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